Dell targets 'untapped' storage market with SC4020

  • Allows mid-market segment to enjoy enterprise-grade tech at mid-market price
  • Mismatch between growth of IT spending and data, SC4020 aims to address gap
 Dell targets 'untapped' storage market with SC4020

DELL Inc believes that its latest storage solution is the answer to what it said was a previously untapped market in Malaysia – the mid-market segment.
According to K.T. Ong, Dell Malaysia general manager, the Dell Compellent SC4020 helps companies in the mid-market segment address their IT challenges in a “cost effective” manner.
“Today, we are witnessing the explosion of data… This has put businesses and IT managers under tremendous pressure,” Ong told a media briefing on May 15.
He said that with the SC4000 series, Dell now can offer enterprise-class, fibre-channel arrays in a high performing, affordable solution designed for mid-sized developments.
“We believe that these arrays can help medium-sized organisations become more competitive, and at the same time, allow us to address an entirely new storage market segment,” he said.
Based on Gartner’s findings, the global IT spend is expected to grow by 3% this year. At the same time, findings by IDC revealed that annual growth of the world’s data in the next decade is expected to be 490%.
“Clearly, there is a large mismatch and it is a gap that Dell will address,” declared William Tan, Dell Malaysia, country leader of the Enterprise group at Dell Malaysia.
The SC4020, which Ong described as the “Baby SC8000," is the smaller form-factor version of the Dell Compellent SC8000. Although the SC8000 has somewhat “disrupted” the market as the all-flash array is attractively priced against other similar solutions, Tan said that the all-flash array is still “out of reach” for the mid-market segment’s wallet.
The SC4020, depending on the customers’ requirements, is priced between US$25,000 and US$50,000. Customers can opt for an all-flash or hybrid solution with the SC4020.
Tan said that Dell’s strategy in rolling out the SC4020 is not only to address demand in Malaysia, but also "untapped opportunities” in the region.
“One of the reasons why we are confident about our product is that it addresses a large, untapped market. According to IDC, Asia Pacific (including Japan) has a 43% share, or US$660 million, of the worldwide fibre-class mid-tier market,” he said.
During the media briefing, Tan also explained why the Dell Compellent All Flash Arrays are able to offer customers high performance storage solution at a much more competitive price. He claimed that the price of the all-flash solution is up to 69% lower than competing “traditional” all-flash solutions, and it is also up to 76% lower than competing “pure flash” vendor solutions.
“To appreciate the products, you first need to appreciate the technology behind it… The key for us to offer the solution at such a competitive price is to understand how single-level cell (SLC) and the multi-level cell (MLC) technologies work,” Tan said.
Today’s SSD (solid-state drive) products consist of one of two technologies, SLC or MLC. The SLC is mainly used by the enterprise segment as it is significantly faster, while the MLC, which is about five times cheaper than the SLC, is mainly used in the consumer segment.
He said that the main factor why the MLC is slow were the “writes”, while the “reads” are almost the same for both MLC and SLC. (In every application, for example point of sale, whenever a transaction is conducted, there is a read-and-write to the disk)
Tan said that with the deeper understanding of MLC and SLC technologies, Dell's all-flash array is able to “tier” between reads and writes.
This means that when a user creates a transaction or writes data, it will be processed using the high-performance SLC. However, as the data ages and is not used often anymore, it will be automatically moved to the lower-cost MLC drives. Should customers opt for Dell's hybrid solution, the rarely used data can be stored in the conventional disk drives.
The SC4020 is a 2U, 24-drive storage area network (SAN) based on the Deep Compellent Storage Center software. The arrays are designed to offer the same capabilities as larger SANs in a solution sized and priced for mid-sized deployments.
Tan also said that the SC4020, which can scale to 408 terabytes of raw capacity, supports a wide range of workloads for organisations across all industries. For example, it can host up to 10,000 Microsoft Exchange 2013 user mailboxes in a single 2U SAN with 24 hard disk drives and with only 12 drives. The same 2U SAN can host up to 129,000 Oracle database workload IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) with less than one millisecond latency.
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